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Psychologists call for replacing sexualized images of girls in media and advertising with positive ones.

WASHINGTON, DC—A report of the American Psychological Association (APA) released today found evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development.

To complete the report, the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls studied published research on the content and effects of virtually every form of media, including television, music videos, music lyrics, magazines, movies, video games and the Internet.  They also examined recent advertising campaigns and merchandising of products aimed toward girls.

An overweight woman. The number of obese people in Sweden has doubled in the past 25 years, with one in 10 Swedes now considered largely overweight, a Statistics Sweden study showed.(AFP/File/Paul Ellis) The number of obese people in Sweden has doubled in the past 25 years, with one in 10 Swedes now considered largely overweight, a Statistics Sweden study showed.

Obesity is now as common among women as men, according to the report, which was published on Tuesday and studied Swedes' weight from 1980 until 2005.

The problem has increased most among young women, non-labour workers and rural residents, though Swedes across all social groups registered weight gains during the period.

Obesity, blamed on changes in diet and lifedtyles, has long been a problem in the United States and is on the rise in many European countries. In France, nine percent of people are considered obese, compared to 12 percent in Germany and 23 percent in Britain.

Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse

obesityObese couples have a more difficult time conceiving a baby than couples of normal weight, according to a study published on Tuesday identifying another consequence of putting on too much weight.

Researchers tracked nearly 48,000 Danish couples between 1996 and 2002, including about 7,600 couples with both the man and woman either overweight or obese according to standards set by the World Health Organization.

They measured how long it took couples to conceive a baby once they began unprotected sex in a bid to have a child.

nutrition pyramidCaliforina - In a research report released today on the state of students in California's public schools, children's fitness level was targeted as the system's biggest failure.

In the "2006-07 California Report Card: The State of the State's Children," the Oakland-based nonprofit Children Now gave low marks for the state's ability to keep children within healthy weight limits. While after-school programs merited a B+ grade, children's obesity earned a dismal D+ mark. Currently one in three children between the ages of 6 and 17 is obese or overweight, according to the report's analysis.

"It's hard to look at that statistic and say anything other than, 'We've got a crisis on our hands,'" said former state Assemblyman Ted Lempert, now the president of Children Now. He said the grade was actually an improvement over last year's D assessment.

10 small steps for a longer life

health New Year is a time many of us resolve to make dramatic health improvements, such as joining the gym and giving up alcohol for ever (or for at least a month). But some of the most dramatic changes we can make are incredibly simple.

Here with the help of leading experts, Good Health offers a guide to the ten easy steps that really will make a difference to your life:


Flossing at least twice a day is essential to prevent decay says Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation.

Become a Healthy Entrepreneur

healthy womanThis article was excerpted from The Entrepreneur Diet. Buy it today from

Living the life of an entrepreneur, it's easy to get lost in the cerebral side of your existence. By throwing yourself into the business, you may have lost touch with the simple joy in movement. We've come up with reality checks for the most popular excuses people have for not staying in shape.

Myth #1: I'm not athletic, so even if I wanted to become more active, I can't do it.

Reality Check: There are many ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day.

Healthy Hearts Never Take a Holiday

heart and nutritionHealthDay News -- This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a healthier heart.

Limiting your alcohol consumption is one important step, said Dr. Ajit Raisinghani, director of the non-invasive cardiac lab at the University of California, San Diego.

He said that every year during the holidays, emergency rooms at hospitals across the United States see patients with heart palpitations and light headedness. Many of these patients have an abnormal heart rhythm caused by drinking too much alcohol -- a condition called "Holiday Heart."

"Usually the patient experiences palpitations accompanied by a sensation of light-headedness. When the patients come into the ER, we learn they've usually spent the weekend drinking. Most often, they're college kids who are otherwise healthy," Raisinghani said.

Coca-ColaHave you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant. 
  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
children getting bad eating habbitsThe age groups that include young children to adolescents witness so many advertisements, medical experts now fear for their health. Reports show that 40,000 ads each year from television alone may be boosting obesity, poor nutrition, cigarette use and alcohol consumption among U.S. youth.

According to a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which appears in the December issue of Pediatrics, there should be calls for more media education to counter some of advertising's negative effects.

Dr. Donald Shifrin -- chairman of the AAP Committee on Communications -- said "We're pleading with pediatricians and parents to become aware that consumeristic tendencies are being fed right from birth … we have to understand that youngsters under a certain age cannot differentiate between a commercial and a program. To them, it's real. There should be some effort on the part of parents to point out that this is a commercial."

Minnesota Ranked 'Healthiest State'

MinnesotaMinnesota is the healthiest state in the U.S., and Louisiana is the least healthy, according to a new ranking.

The list was produced by the nonprofit United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.

Leading the list are:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Vermont
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Hawaii
  5. Connecticut